News - Valmet

Chinese auto parts manufacturer Wanxiang Group won control of the bankrupt battery manufacturer, which provides batteries for the Fisker Karma among other electric vehicles, with its bid of $256 million (€198 million). The deal, which still faces an approval hearing in US courts, would see the Chinese firm take control of everything except the struggling battery makers’ US government businesses, which are set to be transferred to a new EV firm Navitas Systems for $2.2 million (€1.7 million).

The deal would allow A123 Systems to resume battery production and continue delivery of batteries to Fisker Automotive, whose production has been at a standstill since late November owing, in part, to the battery maker’s inability to continue delivery.

Source: NY Times article

Read more: Bloomberg report on A123's bankruptcy filing

Fisker Automotive, makers of the luxury extended range EV Karma, have recently secured an additional $392 million in funding following a rocky early 2012, a period which saw the company lose a significant federal loan and struggle with limited production due to technical difficulties with the Karma’s battery. This latest round of additional financing now places the company in a sound fiscal position in advance of the imminent unveiling of its second EV project, codenamed the Nina, at the New York Auto Show.

Source: Interview with Fisker spokesman Roger Ormisher on the VentureWire

A new concept car designed and manufactured by Finnish auto manufacturer Valmet Automotive is attracting curious stares and sparking speculative discussion on auto industry blogs after it was unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show this week. The concept car, dubbed the Dawn, was manufactured by Valmet Automotive to serve as a showcase of its considerable electric vehicle expertise.

As the manufacturer of both the luxury extended range EV Fisker Karma as well as the fully-electric Think City, Valmet Automotive has accrued considerable experience and expertise in the electric vehicle field and the future-forward Dawn concept car is a firm sign of the company’s commitment to the future of this industry.

Source: Article and photos at Wired

Read more: Photos at Green Car Reports
Report and photos from Geneva at the Jalopnik autoblog
Report and photos from Geneva at Autoblog

Industry analysts and auto retailers are predicting a strong surge in demand for EVs of all classes and price ranges come April when new tax legislation altering how vehicles are taxed goes into effect. These new regulations will raise the tax rate on all vehicles with CO2 emissions exceeding 110 g/km while vehicles whose emissions stay below this limit will receive a reduced tax rate. Consequently, analysts and other industry experts believe that this change will lead to an ignition of Finland’s sluggish EV market, enticing consumers to invest in vehicles generally perceived as being prohibitively costly. One automaker believed to strongly benefit from the altered taxation policies is Fisker Automotive, whose Karma luxury EV has yet to find a market in Finland.

Source: Kauppalehti article (in Finnish)

Global pop sensation Justin Bieber became the proud owner of a new Fisker Karma extended range EV on the occasion of his 18th birthday. The singer received the gift, from his manager, on comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres's talk show last week.

Justin Bieber joins a growing list of celebrity luxury car enthusiasts eager to make their vehicle more environmentally minded, including such famous faces as actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Ashton Kutcher as well as political heavyweights such as Colin Powell and environmental activist and former US vice-president Al Gore.

Source: Green Auto Blog article with video